Ryman Community News

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Cassie's smile says it all

Written by David King
on August 06, 2020

Surrounded by her number one fans on awards night, Cassie Scaife had a smile a mile wide as she absorbed the news that she’d been named Ryman’s nurse of the year.

Cassie’s three-year-old daughter Hazel photobombed her big moment with Anika Moa to plant a big kiss on her mum’s cheek, and it was the first of many congratulations from her family and the team at Anthony Wilding on a night to remember for the young registered nurse.

Anthony Wilding has been a big part of Cassie’s life.


She first started at the village as a 17-year-old school student, working in the laundry and then the kitchen teams when it first opened in 2007.

It gave Cassie a taste for working in healthcare, and she first trained as a paramedic in Wellington after leaving school, filling in her time with shifts as a caregiver at Rita Angus while she was studying.

It was while working as an ambulance officer that Cassie attended an emergency and realised that her destiny lay in working as a nurse in aged care.

“We went on a callout to look after an older woman who was in trouble. It was when I was caring for her that I realised that looking after older people was what I really wanted to do.

“I think my workmates were surprised, but that’s what I wanted to do.’’

She returned to Christchurch to begin a three-year nursing course at CPIT, and she later returned to where it all started at Anthony Wilding to work as a registered nurse on the afternoon team.

Cassie’s years in caregiving give her an invaluable insight into how care works.

“I have a good base about how the shifts work, and I hope it helps me make them go a lot more smoothly for everyone.’’

3S1A4159 (Large)             Raziya, Cassie, Vasu, Ubbie, David and Vavi celebrate on awards night.

She has strong family support, and no one was more delighted with her win with her mum and sister who were on hand for her awards night celebration along with Phoebe and 5, and Hazel 3.

Cassie gave thanks to her registered nurse colleagues and her whole team, who were on shift during the awards presentation. They took time out to pose for pics with Cassie as soon as they heard the news.

“It’s an amazing place and team to work with,’’ Cassie says.

“You never hear them complain no matter what is going on. They just get on and put in the effort to care for everyone and to do their best for them.’’

She also gave thanks to Jeannie Sales, Anthony Wilding’s Clinical Manager, and Sharon Armstrong, Village Manager, for their backing over the years.

“Jeannie has been a great mentor. She’s always there and makes time for those long conversations you need about the lessons you’re learning and the problems that come up.

“She told me early on to listen carefully and to ask the right questions to guide conversations, particularly with families.

“It’s been great advice and something I try to pass on.’’

“Sharon’s always efficient and supportive, no matter what the problem is’’.

Cassie comes from a farming family at Leeston, not too far from Anthony Wilding, and a lot of the residents are retired farmers from her district.

“I’ve grown up knowing them and their families so there’s a real community feel to what we do. Talking to them, seeing that they are happy and knowing their quirks is all part of the job.’’

When she leaves the village towards midnight after each shift, she gets a sense of achievement knowing that all her residents are well, they’re comfortable and well cared for.

Cheyne Chalmers, Chief Operations Officer, said Cassie was a superb registered nurse who has a strong commitment to providing excellent care for older people.

“Cassie understands the needs of residents and their loved ones and will always go the extra mile to ensure their physical, cultural, spiritual and social needs are met.’’

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman Healthcare was founded in Christchurch in 1984 and owns and operates 36 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia. Ryman villages are home to 11,600 residents, and the company employs more than 6,000 staff.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 03 366 4069 or 021 499 602 or Communications Advisor Maryvonne Gray on 027 552 0767.

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